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Monomyth is a crown jewel in the court of the crimson and clover. The Halifax four-piece carries on the hallowed East Coast tradition of janglophile pop with a smirking sense of humour, stadium-sized hooks, and starry-eyed harmonies from the barbershop of broken dreams.
Following a pair of self-released cassettes and a two-song quick hitter for tape label Craft Singles, Saturnalia Regalia! heralds their triumphant LP debut. Though there’s a clear sonic lineage with the holy Halifax trinity of Sloan, Thrush Hermit, and the Super Friendz (whose bassist Charles Austin assisted in this album’s production), Monomyth also invoke the amber-encased Americana of Big Star, pranksterish pop moves of The dB’s and The Soft Boys, Television’s tangled guitarmonies, MBV tremolo ’gaze, and the radiant ramble of Relatively Clean Rivers.
Musically, these songs run the stylistic gamut from an airy, Monkees-inspired intro (“Theme from Monomyth”) to a stormy shoegazing centerpiece (“Downer”), with the band’s trademark vocal harmonies weaving through live staple “Pac Ambition” and the extended finale of “The Big Reveal.” Moments of prettiness and placid calm are broken up with jarring shards of feedback and off-kilter shredding, stirred on by a final spiritual inspiration, The Replacements. “I think it’s fun throw a wrench in the gears just to see what happens,” says frontman, Josh Salter. “It’s important to make pop music that’s a little fucked up because otherwise it’s just pop music.”